Valorant pros like Team SoloMid’s James ‘hazed’ Cobb are concerned about the gameplay in Riot’s FPS that they say is starting to look a lot like Overwatch or WoW PVP.
From the start, players were taken aback by the powerful abilities in Valorant that takes away from the tactical FPS portion of the genre. Raze was the first infamous case since every single one of her abilities, despite their tactical properties, can be used to land a killing blow.
But since the game’s June 2020 launch, the studio has added Agents like Skye, Killjoy, and Astra that bring heavy VFX abilities for controlling areas or blocking sightlines. Coupled with the RNG of weapons, Valorant’s development is causing unease among competitive FPS players.
“Valorant has slowly, over time, shifted to a state where it way less about gunplay and legitimately feels more in-line with RPG PVP,” FPS pro Greg ‘Grego’ McAllen said. “Feels like Overwatch again in the way it’s developing. Guns feel too RNG/easy at the same time, classic can be shot while flying, running acc etc.”
Valorant has slowly over time shifted to a state where its way less about gunplay and legitimately feels more in-line with rpg pvp. Feels like Overwatch again in the way its developing. Guns feel too RNG/easy at the same time, classic can be shot while flying, running acc etc.
— Grego (@GregoFPS) May 22, 2021
TSM’s Hazed agreed that this was a fundamental problem, but saw that the game is feeling like PVP WoW instead – based on issues he’s found in matches.
“I expected it to happen in a game like this,” Hazed explained of its development leaning toward RPG PVP. “But I thought with one of the lead devs being a Counter-Strike player, they would still stay focused on the gunplay and they wouldn’t let it get out of hand. But unfortunately, it has.”
He described a past scrim where both team comps had similar Agents like Astra, Viper, Sova, and Skye on Bind. Hazed said it was “impossible” to get to a bomb site since both sides were only using abilities for the round’s opening minute and felt like it was like “playing 5v5 Arena in WoW.”
“I also think it’s fair to say that objectively, it’s good for FPS. For me it’s straying too far away from an FPS game,” he said. “The game’s only been out for a year, and it’s already gotten to that point. I think that’s a problem. In my opinion, the longevity of the game, it’s just not going to last.”
How can Riot help Valorant?
Instead of Riot buffing one Agent’s abilities over the other, Hazed thinks there need to be nerfs across the board to highlight the game’s FPS element more.
“Instead of buffing characters, things need to be nerfed,” Hazed went on. “If we’re talking about abilities, we’re power-creeping at an exponential rate. I think everything should be nerfed, instead of buffed.”
The TSM pro wants abilities to function like a utility that empowers players to make their plays, but it’s doing a lot more than that in its current state.